Check out these quick tips for artists to get the best out of your social media music marketing. Learn how to create engaging social media posts, promote your music, and grow your audience.
When it comes to social media marketing, musicians can feel overwhelmed and unsure where to begin, whilst really wanting to know how to get more likes and followers on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and so on.
Time to allow your personality to shine through and grow your fanbase. In 2022 we all spend a huge slice of our lives online, and a big portion on social media apps like Instagram and TikTok, so for musicians social media sites are where you make connections and find new work opportunities online.
Managing your feed involves more than a “New Single Out Today” post every month. Even the most technologically terrified artist needs to spend time social networking. If the uncertain times of the pandemic have taught us anything, it’s that having a strong online presence has never been so important.
Social media is free PR for your music, an easy way to market your releases. Have a look at these ten tips and tricks for using social media platforms as a musician, to help get the very best out of the brilliant and infuriating world of social media.
Content ideas for musicians
Got a debut release or gig to promote? Want to get more followers? Think of the objective for each social media post.
Make sure your promo posts are more than text-based lists – for a tour poster for example, list all dates and venues in a creative way.
Make sure you’re posting multiple times per new single, EP and album, and don’t post the same thing twice – you could attach content like music videos, Spotify embeds, album art.
Most importantly, make sure your posts are:
Post teasers and “what I’m working on” posts, and thank your followers for feedback. Make “Coming soon” posts with Pre-Saves, and use a Smart Link to appeal to all store users. Social media users can smell a promotional post a mile off, so try and keep your content natural. Behind-the-scenes content always does well – fans want to see the real you off the stage.
Often it pays to have a plan in mind for every post and campaign you start, and be flexible as time goes on to switch focus as need be.
But posts don’t have to take a lot of time to plan. Whack up a TikTok about the sandwich you had for lunch. Try a live stream of a jam session, or Q&A’s and polls on Instagram Stories.
Connect with other artists online
It’s nice to be nice. Other musicians can be your community, not your rivals! Follow them, communicate with them, and hopefully they’ll support you back.
Think of social networking as networking, just like you would be doing at a live event. Connect online with other bands and follow industry professionals, so you’re always in the loop. That can be as simple as sharing, liking or commenting on other artists’ posts – they might well return the favour, and when you meet them in the real world they’ll feel like they know you.
Think of it as growing a wider team who can help to raise each other up, gig together, and promote each other’s music.
Cover songs are a great way for you to gain new fans who want to hear a new spin on their favourite tune. If you can get the original artist to repost it, that’s a whole new audience you can pick up. You can even publish it to stores, with or without permission from the original artist. Acoustic covers of your own music are also a great way to pick up double the streams for one track.
How to organize social content
What do listeners do when they hear your release on Spotify? Look you up on Instagram. Or TikTok. Even if they Google you, the first thing that comes up should be linked to your social pages. Promoters, booking agents, your future record label – they’re going to want to see your online presence.
Use the same profile picture across all platforms, try and post at least once a day, and work SEO into your posts.
Promote your latest release using tools like PUSH.fm, which among other features lets you create Smart Links to have all your social media in one handy page to show listeners exactly where to find your music online.
As an artist in 2021, you need to have an online brand. That sounds pretty corporate for an independent artist, but it doesn’t have to be a restricting thing. Spend a little time thinking about what kind of artist you want to be. Little things like cultivating an aesthetic on Instagram by posting using the same filter make you seem more professional online.
Branding is a chance to pull everything back to the music. You’ve got to promote your product at every turn. Don’t forget hashtags, make sure handles are correct, and in the run up to a release alternate between putting up a lot of promo content and everyday posts.
Try not to worry about becoming an overnight viral sensation. Focus on the building blocks to gain a loyal dedicated audience over chasing viral fame – it’s more sustainable and will better for your mental health, too.
The more frequently you post, the more likes you’ll accumulate, the higher you’ll rank on followers feed. Don’t spam your feed with uninteresting posts or you’ll lose followers.
Make sure you strike the correct balance between promo material and fun side pieces. See what posts your fans connect with most, and build off that success.
Connect with your music fanbase
So your fans are chatting to you, asking you questions, complimenting you on your cosy new scarf? Nice! Now fight off any feelings of self-consciousness and reply.
Reaching out personally – not just by liking comments – helps build a solid relationship with your fans, even if it’s through screens. The more you engage, the more likes and follows you’ll gain.
Twitter is a particularly useful place to talk about anything that interests you, and your fans too. And make sure you ask questions back, because replies boost your algorithm.
What are the best social media platforms for artists?
All of them! A presence across the social media spectrum is good so that fans can always find you whatever their app of choice.
But as tempting as it is to schedule the same posts across all your social media accounts, their algorithms won’t thank you – an Instagram Reel with a TikTok watermark won’t do as well as making a Reel from scratch, for example. Also, engagement is far higher on video posts than images or text.
Be honest on social media
Social media is about sharing, and that means telling the story of your music. So share whatever you’d like, music related or not. Some off topic posts will show you’re not only after streams.
You can go as deep as you’re comfortable with, thank your fans and explain why you’re grateful for their support. Facebook for example is a natural place for more emotional content.
Vlogs are a great way to show the person behind the music. More than just a photo, your voice and opinions will allow people to attach a human and connect on a whole new level. Show your day-to-day life outside of music, tell stories about how the band got together, the inspiration behind your songs, or Q&As.
You can even do all of this by getting involved in a social media takeover and show your face on another account to gain more followers.
TikTok is huge for musicians right now
TikTok is having a crazy effect on music charts and music discovery – it’s fast becoming the top place for people to find new music.
Join in the fun and get yourself a TikTok account. On TikTok, film everything and anything; such as whatever stupid but hilarious thing is happening behind the scenes of your concert.
Then use RouteNote to get your songs on the TikTok sound library for free, and people can use your song in their videos. You’ll even collect royalties each time someone makes a new post using your sound.
But don’t rely on being discovered and your song going viral. Why not start your own trend by using your song in your own TikToks. Just have some fun with it – try not to focus on the amount of likes and shares. TikTok is all about organic, random content.
And just like TikToks, Stories are built to be stupid, so make the most of the short, vanishing stories that feature on apps like Instagram by making them fun and goofy. Your fans would love to have a peek at what you’re up to, however everyday it might seem to you.
Always know your analytics
Watch your analytics and learn your high engagement times. What time of day is best to post? What kinds of posts did well? Learn from each success and replicate them in new, still engaging ways.
Social media platforms like it when you use whatever new feature the platform has rolled out in its latest update. The algorithm loves it. The reward? Better exposure. So put up a mixture of different posts, always looking at your analytics to see what reached the most people at what time.
Once you know what your fans react well to, you can build a strategy around that for further posts.
If your analytics show you’re doing particularly well on one app, then it’s fine to spend most of your time online there. If you find that you naturally gravitate towards a particular app, that’s okay. More theatrical artists might prefer TikTok, the current affairs-engaged might like Twitter, an artist with a big local following might favour Facebook.
Know your social media limits
Recognise when social media starts to grate on your soul. Most people feel this way – no, really. It’s designed to make you feel inadequate, tapping into our competitive and jealous natures to encourage us to keep posting.
There’s a delicate balance between being yourself on social media and being your brand. We all adopt an online persona on social apps – constantly thinking about what the reaction will be, even with the most off-hand posts.
When you use social media you give a little bit of yourself to complete strangers, and that can feel draining and overwhelming. So switch off your phone when you can tell that counting other artist’s likes is beginning to feel obsessive.
Lastly – don’t over-rely on social media. Remember the Great Facebook Down Day of October 4th 2021? How could we forget.
Have a backup plan in case of outages. Set up an email account to send out newsletters so you have a ready made fanlist to still be able to contact people. This will also help if you ever find yourself being hacked. While we’re on that subject – get two-factor authentication on your accounts.
Social networking is incredibly versatile for musicians: with everyday posts try not to overthink things – just post whatever comes naturally – and then you can turn on your marketing brain when it comes to promotion.
Social media platforms can feel like time and attention-sucking places for artists, but once you work out a rhythm the rewards can be great, and just being present online is a good look for your music brand. And the best bit is, it’s all free.
Make your music available on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok with RouteNote for free, and promote your music easily online. Every time your music is used in posts on the social apps, you’ll earn royalties. Find out more about RouteNote’s free distribution and sign up here to get your music online.